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Apple’s New iOS Update Changes App Payment

Despite iOS 16 expected to be release at their annual developer conference next month, Apple have released iOS 15.5, introducing a number of changes that address their controversial prevention of external app purchases.

Alongside several bug fixes, iOS 15 now allows Apple Cash users to request and send money from their Wallet app. There has also been changes to the Apple Podcasts app that allows users to place limits on the number of stored episodes and set older ones to be automatically deleted.

While significant user-facing changes are limited, iOS 15.5 is most significant in the way that it prepares for Apple to change its restrictions on external app purchases. Particularly of late, Apple has faced widespread scrutiny internationally for requiring developers to use its store payment system, so that it can charge them a 30% commission. Furthermore, Apple required developers to price their content equally or cheaper than elsewhere. As a result, developers could not charge more for their content to offset the Apple commission, forcing them to reduce their overall revenue.

Credit: 9to5Mac

iOS 15.5, according to 9to5Mac, has “added support for apps with external purchases”. Currently, this is only available for “Reader Apps”, and apps that decide to do this can no offer in-app purchases via Apples app store. Furthermore, requests for “External Link Account Entitlement” must be approved by Apple.

In the Netherlands, Apple have been forced to allow dating apps to run in-app purchases externally and via Apple’s platform. Pressure in Europe and around the world is growing, and likely the most significant cause for Apple’s change of heart.


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